Inflation is an extension of the big bang theory, in which a rapid stretching of space at an early time explains why our universe is so big, so uniform and so flat [6, 7]. Such stretching is predicted by a wide class of theories of particle physics, and all available evidence bears it out. Much of space will continue to stretch forever, but some regions stop stretching and form distinct bubbles. Infinitely many bubbles may emerge, as shown in the lower left of Fig. 7.1, each being an infinite embryonic Level I multiverse filled with matter deposited by the energy field that drove inflation.4 Recent cosmological measurements have confirmed two key predictions of inflation: that space has negligible curvature and that the clumpiness in the cosmic matter distribution was approximately scale-invariant.
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